New hire purchase legislation to abolish seizure of items after one-time non-payment

Last Updated on Friday, 13 November 2020, 16:17 by Denis Chabrol

President Irfaan Ali on Friday announced that Guyana’s new hire purchase legislation would abolish the right of sellers to seize items if they are owed one month’s instalment.

Addressing the 2nd Annual General Meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce – Guyana (AMCHAM-G), Dr. Ali said the new law is part of a package of measures aimed at protecting consumers who are needed or businesses would “flounder”.

“The proposed hire purchase bill will provide much-needed protection  for consumers who procure items on credit or through the hire purchase arrangement,” he said.

The President disagreed with the existing legislation that gives sellers the right to forfeit all previous payments and repossess items if consumers owe an instalment. “This can hardly be fair to the consumer. The Bill will reform this unconscionable practice,’ he said.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall  told News-Talk Radio Guyana/ Demerara Waves Online News that “hopefully it (new law) will be tabled at the next sitting” of the 65-seat National Assembly.

Plans are also in the pipeline, he said, for more monies to be allocated for small business development by the Ministry of Commerce.

A number of major  stores in Guyana tighten the grip on persons who buy items on hire purchases by adding other conditions such as a guarantor that was not required at the start of the transaction.

The credit bureau, CreditInfo, provides creditworthiness ratings on potential borrowers and hire purchase buyers before they work out the terms and conditions or decide at all whether to enter into a transaction.